The British Navy in the Caribbean
John D. Grainger. London: Boydell and Brewer, 2021. 279 pp. $150.
Reviewed by Commander BJ Armstrong, U.S. Navy
Recent years have seen increasing discussion of great power competition in the world. Britain, in particular, has set itself on a new strategic course with the embrace of “Brexit” and the strategic ideals of a “Global Britain.” As HMS Queen Elizabeth and her escorts sail for the Pacific and seas in between, the first British aircraft carrier deployment in decades, it is important to remember that global Britain comes with a global past. For a time, Britain was the world’s naval hegemon, but that was not always the case. John Grainger’s The British Navy in the Caribbean tells the story of British naval power in a critical part of the Western Hemisphere, and it reminds readers that the rise of new powers, attempts at resurgence by older powers, and the dangerous competition for standing in the world, have a long history.